SM026 – Winlink Hamword Game

Hamword is a Winlink-based game that mimics the popular five-letter word guessing game, Wordle. I built this game to give hams a way to practice their Winlink skills while having some fun guessing an unknown five-letter word. All of these rules, and the leaderboard, are at https://hambooks.org/hamword/. You may have already seen this on the front page of https://qrz.com/.

The only thing you need to play the game is an amateur radio license and an active Winlink account. You can learn more about setting up Winlink at  http://ok.arrl.org/nts/ntsoksoftware/. If you are up and running on Winlink, give it whirl. If not, this is a great time to set it up.

So far we’ve had almost 100 hams from 28 different ARRL sections plus seven countries play the game. We’ve processed nearly 1,000 Winlink email messages and have had some great feedback from across the country.

How to Play

Once you have Winlink up and running, send a five-letter word via Winlink to the tactical call sign HAMWORD. The subject line can be anything you wish, and the message body should contain just your guess. Your messages will be graded and returned via a Winlink message at 00, 15, 30, and 45 minutes past the hour.

Response Key

Since Winlink doesn’t allow text colors, you will receive a five-number “key” to guide you in your next choice. The numbers 0, 1, and 2 are returned using the following definitions:

  • 0 means that the letter above the key is not seen in the word that you are guessing. (Similar to gray.)
  • 1 means that the letter above the key is used in the word you are guessing, but it is in the wrong location. (Similar to yellow.)
  • 2 means that the letter above the key is used in the word you are guessing, and it is in the correct location. (Similar to green.)

Weekly Reset

The guessed word will reset weekly at 00:00Z on Monday (Sunday evening in the United States) in this game. So, make your guesses throughout the week and make sure you solve the puzzle before the word resets. You have six chances to solve the puzzle each week.

Good luck, have fun, and let me know how Hamword works for you.

Clubs

Amateur radio clubs are the backbone of the hobby. The tremendous local hams have good information, and as Elmers or mentors they love to share it. Send something that your club is doing well to me n5hzr@arrl.org, and I’ll feature your club in this newsletter, and on the ARRL club newsletter. Most clubs are seeing an increase in new member activity recently. Our Oklahoma Affiliated Club Coordinator, Jim Shideler W5JCS, can help you find a club or help your club become affiliated. We currently have 41 clubs listed at http://ok.arrl.org/clubs/. Look for a club near you, or verify that your club is on the list. Send Jim an email at W5JCS@arrl.net if you need club assistance.

ARRL Oklahoma is On The Web

JOIN/RENEW ARRL NOW —  http://arrl.org/join/

73, de N5HZR — Stand by, more follows…

SM025 – Seminole Communications Need

Seminole Communications Need

A message from the ARRL Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator, Mark Conklin N7XYO…

2000L 6 MAY 2022    DO NOT SELF DEPLOY

ATTENTION ALL ARES-OK members are on Stand-by –   ARES-OK Districts 11, 5 & 6 should prepare to muster teams if requested, a LIMITED deployment is expected.

The OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT has requested communications support from the ARRL/Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

ARES-OK Leaders (ReginalEC, DistrictEC & CountyEC) are asked to contact their ARES-OK team(s) of volunteers to ensure that they have received this info and are ready to help.

SCOPE:

Provide voice communications between chainsaw and debris removal teams and their base of operations.

Seminole State College (Incident Command – IC)

Located at 2701 Boren Boulevard, Seminole, OK 74868

Voice communications can be via simplex or any available repeater (with permission of repeater owner(s)).

The initial team will need to set up base operations at 

Seminole State College – IC

Provide 1 Mobile Operator to shadow each of the up to SIX chainsaw and debris removal teams.

DURATION: at the direction of ARES-OK Leadership and the OKDEM – Starting Saturday 7 May 2022 then most likely through Tuesday/Wednesday or 10-11 May 2020.

DAILY OPERATIONAL PERIOD:

0730 Local to Darkness (at the direction of OKDEM POC)

NOTE: IC base should be covered by 2-person teams per location in shifts, mobile position should be rotated to allow for breaks.

All volunteers must sign in and out with IC.

Log all traffic on ICS-309 form.

Use ICS-213 for all formal messages.

WHAT TO BRING:

ARES Deployment Vest (Don’t have one?  (Borrow one from a friend – well work on getting a loaner vest or two.)  Wear your ARES-OK vest at all times.

Suitable clothing and work boots for being in a disaster area.

HT RADIO, EXTRA BATTERIES (Radio manual is a good idea).

MOBILE RADIO for Vehicle operations.

Day one bag – always a good idea. Some snacks & water.  ARC/Salvation will provide meals.

Photo ID

ARES ID – don’t have one – don’t panic – make sure you are registered online @ www.ARESOK.org

A copy of your Amateur Radio License

All volunteers willing to help please contact:

Tom Webb WA9AFM/5

tmwebb@cox.net 

Please specify the days and times you are available to help.

Thank you for your service,

Mark Conklin, N7XYO

Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator

Amateur Radio Emergency Service

918.232.8346

n7xyo@arrl.net

Follow me on Twitter @N7XYO

ARRL Oklahoma is On The Web

JOIN/RENEW ARRL NOW —  http://arrl.org/join/

73, de N5HZR — Stand by, more follows…

SM022 – NTS OK – Winlink – Elk City 3/5

The National Traffic System (NTS) was designed and implemented in the 1950s to send messages from coast to coast, via amateur radio, in under 24 hours, using amateur radio. Messages are sent during fair weather days to test the system and allow operators to practice their skills. During bad weather days, disasters, or other emergencies, messages communicate information critical to saving lives or property. Additionally, health and welfare messages allow people to inquire about a disaster victim.

Oklahoma NTS moves messages over HF and VHF/UHF using voice, CW, and the Winlink messaging protocol. 

Yesterday, I talked to the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS) group that gives an overview of traffic movement in Oklahoma, specifically how to set up the Winlink system. A link to that presentation and the PowerPoint slide deck is available on the http://ok.arrl.org/ntsoksoftware/ page.

The HF voice traffic system would love to have you join their ranks, and more information is available at http://ok.arrl.org/ntsnets/

The Superlink repeater system has a traffic net on Thursday evenings in the Tulsa and Northeast region. In addition, they train and practice sending messages around the country. More information on that activity is available at http://ok.arrl.org/ntslocal/

And the newest method to move NTS traffic is using the Winlink system on both HF and VHF. We are looking to increase the number of Winlink stations to send and receive messages to all 12 ARES regions of the state. More information is available on joining the NTSOK Winlink folks at http://ok.arrl.org/ntsok/

Whatever mode you choose, please join us in the NTSOK system, so you are ready for message handling when the need arises.

Elk City Hamfest

The Oklahoma Hamfest season starts with the Elk City Hamfest. On March 5th, 2022, the hamfest will be at the Beckham County Activity Center, 310 East Main St. in Sayre, OK. (Exit 23 I-40) then west on Hwy 152.

The 2022 Elk City one-page flyer is available at this link.

The doors are open Saturday from 8:00 am until ???

Admission is $5.00, and tables are available for $5.00 each. No preregistration is required. Pay at the door.

Early setup is available for Friday afternoon (3/4/22) from 1:30 pm until 8:00 pm.

VE Testing is available Saturday at 1:00 pm. Bring a photo id and a copy of your license. Preregistration is preferred at http://www.sites.google.com/view/wcoarc/pre-registration. You must have a Federal Registration Number (FRN) and a valid email. There is no fee for the exam, but the FCC license fee may be in effect.

The Sayre City Park has hookups for about a dozen RV’s.

There is plenty of parking available at the hamfest site, but no RV hookups are available there.

Contact: aa5gw.gary@gmail.com or 580-243-9848.

Talk-in on the 146.76 –offset 88.5 tone repeater or DMR on the 147.225 +offset CC1 TG 304098 machine.

Face masks will be available, but they are not required.

See you there!

Clubs

Amateur radio clubs like the Enid Amateur Radio Club (EARC) https://enidarc.org/ are the backbone of the hobby. The tremendous local hams have good information, and as Elmers or mentors they love to share it. Send something that your club is doing well to me n5hzr@arrl.org, and I’ll feature your club in this newsletter, and on the ARRL club newsletter. Most clubs are seeing an increase in new member activity recently. Our Oklahoma Affiliated Club Coordinator, Jim Shideler W5JCS, can help you find a club or help your club become affiliated. We currently have 39 clubs listed at http://ok.arrl.org/clubs/. Look for a club near you, or verify that your club is on the list. Send Jim an email at W5JCS@arrl.net if you need club assistance.

ARRL Oklahoma is On The Web

OK.ARRL.ORGhttp://ok.arrl.org/

ARESOK —  https://aresok.org/

ARRL.org —  http://www.arrl.org/sections/view/oklahoma

Blogspot —  http://arrlok.blogspot.com/

Facebook —  https://www.facebook.com/arrloklahoma

Twitter —  https://twitter.com/arrl_OK/

ARRL Member Emails —  https://www.arrl.org/myarrl-account-management#!/edit-info-email_subscriptions

JOIN/RENEW ARRL NOW —  http://arrl.org/join/

73, de N5HZR — Stand by, more follows…

SM021 – Announcing http://ok.arrl.org/

Greetings, and I hope you are all staying warm and are making the best of the new year. To start the year off, I’d like to introduce the new ARRL Oklahoma section website,  http://ok.arrl.org/. This site houses the OK Section Manager News and publicizes ARRL activity in the entire state. Currently, there are segments for Becoming a Ham, Section Manager News, ARES/SKYWARN, NTS, Clubs, and Hamfests. The goal for this site is to become the place where you can visit or send someone for more amateur radio information anywhere in the state of Oklahoma. 

Be a Ham

Each year hundreds of folks obtain their first Technician license. This tab will help them learn what’s required, show them how, give them training assistance, and show them where they can take a license test. If your club operates an ongoing license test session, make sure we listed it on the license page, and please get in touch with us if you need some changes/additions.

Section Mgr News

The Oklahoma Section Manager newsletters are stored here. So if you missed a past issue or need to catch up on some local information, this is the place to look. 

ARES/SKYWARN

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a service that hams provide during communications emergencies. Here you will find a link to the ARES Oklahoma web page, where you can join, learn, obtain training, and more. 

The National Weather Service’s SKYWARN program is also a good way for hams to get involved with severe weather reporting. This page provides the four different regions of the NWS for the state and how you can get involved from your area.

NTS

The National Traffic System (NTS) is how amateur radio operators pass traffic during ‘blue-sky’ days and during communications emergencies. Every day Oklahoma hams pass traffic via voice, CW, and Winlink. This tab describes the local methods we use to get messages in and out of Oklahoma. You will hear more about NTS in subsequent Section Manager News reports.

Clubs

There are 40 ARRL affiliated clubs in the state, and you will be able to find one of these clubs here. If you are a club leader and notice that some information needs to be updated, please let us know.

Join ARRL

Here you can link to the ARRL membership benefits page and the page to allow you to join or renew your ARRL membership online. 

Hamfests

Oklahoma has five hamfests (or conventions) annually in Elk City, (Green Country) at Claremore, Oklahoma City, Ardmore, and Enid. In addition, we hold tailgate events in the Pryor and Edmond areas. This tab has links to each event, and you will find the most current information about each event here. If you have some updated information about one of these events, please make sure you contact us.

Contact Us

The contact us section has links to provide contact information for the Oklahoma Section and describes our neighboring regions. Oklahoma, along with Texas, makes up the ARRL West Gulf Division, one of the fifteen national divisions. Links to the WGD and the three Texas sections can be found on this tab. 

Clubs

Amateur radio clubs are the backbone of the hobby. The tremendous local hams have good information, and as Elmers or mentors, they love to share it. Send something that your club is doing well to me n5hzr@arrl.org, and I’ll feature your club in this newsletter, and on the ARRL club newsletter. Most clubs are seeing an increase in new member activity recently. Our Oklahoma Affiliated Club Coordinator, Jim Shideler W5JCS, can help you find a club or help your club become affiliated. We currently have 40 clubs listed at http://ok.arrl.org/clubs/. Look for a club near you, or verify that your club is on the list. Send Jim an email at W5JCS@arrl.net if you need club assistance.

ARRL Oklahoma is On The Web

JOIN/RENEW ARRL NOW —  http://arrl.org/join/

73, de N5HZR — Stand by, more follows…

SM017 – Happy Holidays and 2021 Year-End Summary

‘Tis the Season

The end of the year brings a number of holidays that tend to make the time fly by faster each and every year. So, no matter what you celebrate, all of us that bring you the Oklahoma ARRL experience wish you the best. So, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy New Year, and all the rest to you and yours from the Oklahoma ARRL section.

And, many thanks from me to the hundreds of volunteers that make this process run smoothly. Without the help of the section leaders, ARES leaders, ARES volunteers, NTS Traffic Handlers, club leaders, hamfest organizers, net control operators, net participants, and others we wouldn’t have been able to make the waves that we have during 2021.

2021 Year-End Summary

The ARRL national organization is defined by the five pillars of public service, advocacy, education, technology, and membership. These tenants are used to define all of the activities that make up the organization’s tasks. Earlier this year I took a look at the five pillars and found that we would be able to support all of them by concentrating on the following five action groups; ARES, NTS, Clubs, Member Communications, and Outreach. Throughout the year each of those groups has had a lot of activity, and some of it is shown here:

ARES – Amateur Radio Emergency Service

  • A new https://aresok.org website was unveiled to support the 800+ ARES members.
  • An ARES OK Fall Summit was held on 10/23/2021 that had 30 ARES members in-person in Norman and 20 more that attended via Zoom and YouTube.
  • We obtained several new Region Emergency Coordinators.
  • We obtained about 20 new county Emergency Coordinators.
  • Email communications were sent to the 800+ ARESOK contacts.

NTS – National Traffic System

  • The National Traffic System in Oklahoma will be highlighted during the month of January. If you are interested in NTS, more information is available at http://ok.arrl.org/nts/
  • HF Phone Nets are still going strong with the following schedule. More information is available at http://ok.arrl.org/ntsnets/
    • Sunday 3900 08:00 local
    • Sunday 3900 16:30 local
    • Daily 7290 AM/PM
  • New Tulsa Superlink UHF Night Net – More information is available at http://ok.arrl.org/ntslocal/
    • Every Thursday 7:00 pm
  • NTSOK Winlink is up and running on HF and VHF – More information is available at http://ok.arrl.org/ntsok/
    • Send NTS messages to message to NTSOK

Clubs

  • The Oklahoma Section Affiliated Club Coordinator – Jim Shideler mailto:W5JCS@arrl.net
  • We created a club leader email list
  • The 39 clubs are listed at http://ok.arrl.org/clubs/
  • A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) club analysis tool is available at http://ok.arrl.org/clubtool/
  • ARRL Club Newsletter started in November from ARRL HQ (first time since 2009). If you have any club information and pictures you would like to share, send them to mailto:clubs@arrl.org.
  • ARRL Club news will start back up in QST as ‘strays’.
  • All club contact information for each club was updated on ARRL.ORG
  • A new national ARRL Club Funding program was announced at the Enid hamfest.

Member Communication

  • The https://aresok.org site was updated.
  • The http://ok.arrl.org web site was started. This site should be “THE” place to go for amateur radio information in the state. Wanna be hams, new hams, upgrading hams, and curious hams should find something to do here. Look here for clubs, testing sessions, classes, and more.
  • The https://arrlok.blogspot.com, Facebook page, ARRL.org section page, and the Twitter page all receive Section Manager News about every fortnight.
  • Postcards are sent monthly to the following groups of people. More information is available at http://ok.arrl.org/postcards/
    • New FCC license
    • Upgraded FCC license
    • New ARRL member
    • Lapsed ARRL members

Outreach

  • Oklahoma Memorial Marathon Communications
  • Do-Wacka-Do Communications
  • Tour de Tulsa Communications
  • Cycle 66 Bike Communications
  • Tulsa Makers Faire demonstration station
  • Tulsa Channel 8 News report on Hurricane Ida preparations
  • Lots of Field Day Stations and Field Day home stations
  • City of Norman National Night Out demonstration station
  • Westheimer Airport Open House demonstration station
  • NIGHT, the movie – we assisted with a feature movie short
  • ARISS – AMSAT school communication – Tecumseh, OK – K5TMS
  • Emergency Preparedness – Norman Sooner Mall demonstration station
  • Full blown Elk City Hamfest
  • Full blown Enid Hamfest


And, all of this happened during the international pandemic. Next year should allow even more activities.

Summary Numbers


This year in the state of Oklahoma, we welcomed 394 new Technicians, 137 upgraded licensees, and 413 new ARRL Members. This resulted in an increase in ARRL Membership of 87 (+5.1%), to over 1,800. We recently added three new clubs that will be detailed soon!

1,051 postcards were sent to the new hams, upgraded hams, and new ARRL members.

There are currently 832 ARES Oklahoma members.

— See you next year!!!

ARRL Oklahoma is On The Web

JOIN/RENEW ARRL NOW —  http://arrl.org/join/

73, de N5HZR — Stand by, more follows…

SM012 – Severe Weather

Last night’s storm reminded most of the state of Oklahoma that severe weather could happen in any month. Hopefully, all ARES members were paying attention and could assist with the trouble in their county. I want to take this opportunity to do a few things. 

  1. Verify your connections. 
    1. Were you able to contact your local net? 
    2. Were your batteries charged? 
    3. Could you locate your radios? 
    4. Were they still packed with the latest special event gear? (like mine were)
    5. Were you able to communicate with others?
  2. Have you signed up for the ARES Oklahoma https://ARESOK.org/join/ website? 
  3. Have you updated your contact information and station information on https://aresok.org/wp-admin/profile.php? Take a look and update as needed.

ARES Oklahoma Meeting

With both OU & OSU at away games and Ardmore Hamfest canceled, it has left us with a unique opportunity. That said, we have decided to hold an ARES Oklahoma Leadership meeting.

The gathering will be open to all leaders, volunteers, and interested radio amateurs. 

So, SAVE THE DATE: 

Saturday, October 23, 2021 (approximate time frame 9 am to 1 pm)

Where: Norman Firehouse #7

And, Zoom/YouTube attendance options will be available. 

More detail to follow > please make plans to attend. 

73, Mark Conklin, N7XYO
Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator
Amateur Radio Emergency Service
918.232.8346
n7xyo@arrl.net

Enid Hamfest

The Enid Hamfest is still on schedule. November 6, 2021. More information is available at https://enidarc.squarespace.com/enidhamfest

Clubs

Amateur radio clubs are the backbone of the hobby. The tremendous local hams have good information, and as Elmers or mentors love to share it. Send something that your club is doing well to me n5hzr@arrl.org, and I’ll feature your club in this newsletter. Most clubs have seen an increase in new member activity during the pandemic. Our Oklahoma Affiliated Club Coordinator, Jim Shideler W5JCS, can help you find a club or help your club become affiliated. We currently have 38 clubs listed at https://aresok.org/clubs. Look for a club near you, or verify that your club is on the list. Send Jim an email at W5JCS@arrl.net if you need club assistance.

You can find ARRL Oklahoma Section all over the web at:

JOIN/RENEW ARRL NOW —  http://arrl.org/join/

73, de N5HZR — Stand by, more follows…